Themes | Essays
Dance of the African Diaspora
Curated by John Perpener
Essays by Melanie George, John Perpener, Brian Seibert
An Introduction ByWatch Video
Jazz Dance, Music, and the Importance of Swing
The relationship between jazz dance and its accompanying music is a defining characteristic of the dance form. This essay explores the relationship between jazz dance and its accompaniment through the work of Katherine Dunham and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Danny Buraczeski, LaTasha Barnes, Lee Howard, and Caleb Teicher.
Uncovering Jazz Elements in the Work of Contemporary Choreographers
The elements of jazz are embedded in the fabric of American culture. This essay explores the jazz elements found in the work of contemporary dance artists of the African Diaspora.
African-Americans in Ballet at Jacob’s Pillow: The Dance Theatre of Harlem
While focusing primarily on Arthur Mitchell and Dance Theatre of Harlem, this pioneering company's Pillow performances are juxtaposed with other ballet artists of color, from Maria Tallchief to Misty Copeland.
Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE
This exploration of Brown's earliest Pillow performances considers themes of faith, family, and same-sex desire, as well as formative African and Cuban influences.
Black Dancers in the Berkshires
Any full history of black dancers at Jacob's Pillow must include its antecedents in the Underground Railroad era, exemplified by Joanna Haigood in her site-specific production, Invisible Wings.
Tracing Social and Political Activism
With particular emphasis on Katherine Dunham and Alvin Ailey, this essay examines how dance artists have addressed social concerns through their work, especially since the 1940s.
Camille A. Brown
A powerhouse dancer with expansive reach and bravura, Brown creates work that combines modern and postmodern dance, West African forms, and vernacular dances.
Having long ago proved that he could do pretty much whatever he wanted in tap, Savion Glover is also ever mindful of his tap ancestors who forever live on through his performances.
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